Solo lawyer gets all clients from blogging

Filed under: Blogging | Tags: , |

I spoke with Christian Frank Fas at MILOfest (Macs in Law Offices conference) about how legal blogging has been the best method for attracting prospecting clients to his law office.

Check out Christian’s facebook and blog!


Can your clients understand your forms?

Filed under: Podcasts, Practice Tips | Tags: |

I’m listening to the 4th Graders Read A Credit Card Agreement episode of NPR’s Planet Money podcast. In it, the hosts discuss the how eye-roll-back-in-your-head complex credit card agreements and notices are. Is it really necessary to make them so complicated? Is it even possible to make legal notices simpler?

With good design, the answer is YES.

Here is a sample disclosure document (click on the link for the full pdf).

Now, here is the same document revised and reformated for clarity and readability (again, click the link for the full pdf).

Of course the second one is easier to read. It is broken down into clear sections with nice signposts to tell the reader what s/he is looking at. Now, here is the question. Are your fee agreements and other documents more like the first set notice, or the second?


Power of a good logo!

Filed under: Marketing | Tags: |

I love Rick Campbell’s work. The logos he designs are clean, vibrant and capture a vitality. I have written about Rick Campbell’s work before, and he has done the logos for my endeavors.
Read the rest of this entry »


Best Business Advice for Lawyers

Filed under: Marketing, Podcasts | Tags: , |

I was listening to after-show of Episode 10 of Back to Work. Merlin Mann has what I consider the best and simplest advice for anyone in business.

Here’s Merlin is voicing some people’s problem with Apple.

‘I don’t understand: why does Apple only make this costly stuff that only people who like Apple buy? It’s crazy, it’s almost like they don’t care about the people who don’t buy their stuff. It’s the weirdest thing in the world. Don’t they understand that I’m never going to buy their stuff?’

And that, I think, is a pretty good summation of how a lot of businesses see the world.

‘Why don’t you care more about how much I’m never going to buy your thing. Why doesn’t that bother you as much as it bothers me? You should care so much more about how I’m never going to buy your thing.’

And instead they’re not going to burn cycles on that. They’re  gonna go like, “Yeah, we’re a company! Yeah, we’re gonna do lock in. Yeah, we’re gonna do dumb shit. But, yeah we’re going to do that for people who have a fuck ton of money who are really happy to give it to us instead of making 35 tablets who don’t run that well and then make you feel bad about it.

What does this have to do with running a law practice?

Don’t try to make people who are never going to buy your services happy.

And, if you are blogging, you see this every day!  Read the rest of this entry »


WordCast Conversations: Tomasz Stasiuk, Blogging, Social Media and Online Strategies for Lawyers

Filed under: Blogging, Marketing, Presentations | Tags: , |

I had a great conversation with Kym Huynh on Wordcast Conversations on the importance of blogging to the legal profession including:

  • How blogging attract legal clients.
  • How blogging equalizes the playing field between big law and solos and small firm lawyers.
  • How blogging establishes you as a thought leader in your practice area on the national stage.
  • How to get take the first steps to get started blogging.

WordCast Conversations with Tomasz Stasiuk from Bitwire Media on Vimeo.


Law Practice Tip: Add “What to Bring” List to Emails

Filed under: Practice Tips | Tags: |

Want to make you clients happy? How about just a bit happier. Here is an easy way to make your client’s experience with your office just a bit easier and less stressful.

Add a “What to Bring” section to your appointment confirmations

You already know that you have to remind you clients of their appointments. Otherwise the chance of a no-show jumps sky-high. I have been transitioning to email reminders over the last 18 months. It has made my life so much easier. I use a pre-generated email template in Daylite which plugs in the next event. I simply review it, and hit send.

One thing I have recently added is section that says:

At the appointment, we will be checking for the following. Please do your best to have these available:

And I include a list of what I will be looking for at the next appointment.

It’s easy. It avoids the whole, “Oh yeah! We did talk about that last time.” Of course, it does not prevent forgetting on the day of the appointment. It does reduce it substantially, though.


Law Practice Tip: Do You Have A Client Notepad?

Filed under: Practice Tips | |

Here is an easy way to keep your clients happy and make their lives easier: have mini-notepads on either side of your desk. It is one of those ridiculously obvious things (except that a lot of lawyers don’t bother with it).

It took me years to figure it out. It finally occurred to me at a doctor’s office: at the end of the appointment, they rattle off a list of medications, dosages and schedules, and things to watch for and what to do. Finally, they ask, “got that?” before smiling, shaking your hand and running out the door.

THAT’S WHAT IT’S LIKE TO SEE A LAWYER!!!

Simply providing a pad and paper greatly helps our clients keep all of the information and instructions that we go through during appointments straight.

On both left and right sides of my desk, I keep mini sticky-back notepads with pens. This lets my clients take notes and take with them. It’s easy and it makes getting things done easier for my clients and myself.

Got a practice management tip? Tell me in the comments!


Powerful Law Firm Logos – The Face Of Your Business

Filed under: Marketing | Tags: , , , |

jack johnson:better together

Today’s guest article is written by freelance Graphic Designer Rick Campbell,

Think of your favorite beverage.

Is it a soda? Is it coffee?

Maybe your drink of choice is a brand of tea or an energy drink? When you think of it, do you picture it in a glass? Do you think of it on ice? Or do you picture the logo or packaging first, followed by the appearance and taste?

You come back to the same brand again and again because of the experience of drinking the product, but your mind may recognize the logo and packaging as part of that experience. At times, the taste is secondary to consumers, as they may recognize a company or brand solely by a logo.

A law firm’s logo can speak the same language, though the experience is based more around integrity and results rather than flavor or caffeine levels.

  • A logo serves as a face of your business and can highlight your business in a positive or negative light, depending on how effective it is.
  • A logo identifies what your firm stands for and can go so far as giving potential clients an idea of what you specialize in (whether it’s real estate, family law, copywriting, etc.) without having to “Google” you.
  • A logo identifies your core values. It can say that you are trustworthy, that you take pride in your work, or strive for excellence in your field.

Some of the more effective logos bypass using cookie cutter images, like gavels and columns, that are so often seen in law-related logos or combine them with new images related to their specialty to create a more memorable mark. Others may use familiar regional imagery, like a tree or a mountain range that is specific to that part of the world. Thinking outside the usual confines of law’s basic symbols can be a foundation for building brand awareness and brand loyalty in your clientele. [Check out the examples below the fold] Read the rest of this entry »


Dammit! I’m a Lawyer, Not a Soothsayer!

Filed under: Editorials, Practice Tips | |

Problem solving fortune cookie

It is an axiom in the practice of law that lawyers cannot promise a particular result.

It is also axiomatic that as soon as an individual requires the services of a lawyer, they will forget this. So, any question like…

If I do A, what will happen?

Falls into the realm of promising a result, if one tries to answer it. The same goes for the following:

If I do A, will B happen?
How do I stop B from happening?

This is a variation on promising a result, in the sense that it is a protection racket. “We can help you avoid B[ad thing], if you do the following, and pay us money.” The often unspoken part of these questions is…

I know what I want to do, and I want you to tell me that it is going to be ok.

Or, put another way, “I want you to ratify my action and indemnify me against bad consequences.” Now, do lawyers do this? Sure. Absolutely. Lawyers often provide advice on prospective courses of action to protect their clients. However, there has to be the understanding that:

  1. The lawyer cannot guarantee a result.
  2. If things go tits up, the lawyer will effectively go, “Huh? What do you know about that?”

Unfortunately, this tends to not go over well. Which often results in the client either being angry, or suing the lawyer, for not having a good enough crystal ball. Simply put, I hate these questions.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Tomasz Stasiuk


Ignore the Analytics

Filed under: Blogging | Tags: |

Google Analytics Hacks

When you first start blogging, you will want to see how many people (other than you mom and your spouse) are looking at your site.

DON’T

Analytics are the beauty magazines of blogging. They will just make you feel ugly and make you want to go back to bed with a pint of ice cream. You won’t know what you are doing and that’s ok. When you are starting out is a great time to make mistakes. It’s the perfect time, in fact: fewer people are looking at your site!

  • Websites need time to grow.
  • Bloggers need time to grow, too.

It will take time to find your voice and figure out the things you want to cover. At first, you will feel like you are shouting into the howling wilderness. And in many ways you will be. However, you need that ego to keep you going to the keyboard to keep creating content. And analytics are worse for your self confidence that striking out at a single’s bar. Analytics prove statistically that no one likes you, and that is something no one needs to hear during the fragile starting months.

Keep telling yourself that you are awesome and that it will just take some for everyone else to see that too. Yeah, just like your mom said. Now, go give her a call! She’d love to hear from you.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Search Engine People Blog